Businesses around the world are racing to tap into the global halal market worth more than $2 trillion and growing. By Lina Lewis.
The global halal market, valued to be worth more than $2 trillion, is one of the fastest growing consumer segments in the world. Its food sector alone is reaching a yearly value of about $700 billion.
These huge numbers keep growing. So it’s no surprise that businesses around the world are jostling for a slice of the pie. Those in the food sector are wasting no time in obtaining halal accreditation.
Takasago International, a Japanese firm dealing with flavours and fragrances, officially opened a $60-million facility in Singapore on March 14, The Straits Times reported.
The flavours are used in the making of foods such as potato chips, cookies and instant noodles.
In 2004, Takasago became the first firm in Singapore to open a facility producing halal flavours. The firm’s new plant, about the size of five football fields, will replace the older two.
The firm gained its halal accreditation from either the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore or Majelis Ulama Indonesia.
Takasago president Ritaro Igaki said: “The commencement of the Singapore operation gives Takasago a big leap in the Asian marketplace.”
Not wanting to be left out of the race are Korean food makers, with ramen brand Nongshim taking the lead.
Nongshim earned its halal status from Jakim, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia.
The Korea Herald reported that 100 million servings of instant noodles are eaten in Indonesia each day.
Also gaining traction are Sharia-compliant services. Not only do Muslims have the option of Islamic banking, but Sharia-compliant hotels are also on the rise.
In Indonesia, Sofyan Hotel Betawi in central Java demands that couples show proof of marriage or kinship when checking in.
The hotel, which also accepts non-Muslim guests, does not serve alcohol and offers only halal food. There are no art pieces of humans or animals on the hotel walls, and a prayer mat and a copy of the Qur’an can be found in every room.
Interestingly – and perhaps not known to many Muslims – traditional Chinese medicine chain Eu Yan Sang is also on the halal bandwagon: Herbs sold at its outlets are certified halal by the Taiwan Halal Integrity Development Association.
The company, known for its acupuncture treatments, told The Straits Times last month that Malays form the biggest non-Chinese group of patients at all its outlets in Singapore.
With the growing number of businesses racing to gain a foothold in the halal market, it’s a win-win situation all around: Businesses get a bigger share of the pie, consumers get more options, competition boosts the quality of products and services, and innovation rises.